State and local agencies have begun moving to the cloud to take advantage of cost savings, improved productivity and the mobility that cloud solutions offer. In their efforts to take advantage of these benefits, they must also prioritize security and compliance as key areas for choosing the right solutions.
In the public sector, cloud solutions are being utilized in a variety of ways. Some states use it to enhance their collaboration efforts, while others are more interested in cutting IT maintenance and update costs or offering cloud-based infrastructure to state agencies. While national government agencies often look at moving to the cloud as a strategic IT initiative, state and local governments are using it to solve tactical challenges, such as moving a by-mail registration system for cattle branding to an online, cloud-based registration.
Patching Together Security
One of the problems that plagues state and local governments as they migrate to the cloud is their security approach. Traditionally, some of these agencies have used a patchwork of security solutions that may work fine for a hub-and-spoke network design that keeps all data safe within a firewall.
Implementing cloud solutions expands the security plane to include frequent, data-heavy transmissions to and from the cloud. Some states are utilizing sensor-equipped devices, or Internet of Things (IoT) technology that increases the number of endpoints and introduces more vulnerability.
In order to prioritize robust security and meet compliance regulations, state and local agencies moving to the cloud need to implement a new approach to security. A network-based, unified platform that offers flexibility in its structure allows agencies to manage an ever-changing cloud environment.
This type of platform gives agencies the ability to manage access governance, as well as secure information and mitigate potential threats for both cloud-based solutions and on-premises, legacy systems. This type of solution reaches the same level of security that agencies are accustomed to with their own physical on-site systems.
When creating a cloud security strategy, it’s a good idea to start with setting up policies that govern internal access, granting users the lowest possible level of access to systems necessary to do their jobs. Next, agencies should prioritize endpoint security.
Monitoring is also critical. Agencies can catalog where data is stored, whether that’s in the cloud solution, mobile device or endpoint storage systems. They can classify the data and watch to see how it is being used to establish a baseline. They can then use this information to determine when anything unusual might indicate a potential threat.
State and local agencies shouldn’t shy away from moving to the cloud for fear that they won’t be able to keep up with security and compliance. Contact us at One Connect to learn how you can balance leveraging the best cloud technology for the public sector while prioritizing security concerns.